Friday, July 13, 2007

some brief updates.

i've had a hell of a time trying to blog this week, after last weekend's frenetic five-posts-in-three-days, even though you're owed a full detailing of the excellent tortoise show i went to, so hopefully these tidbits will tide you over. all three have been making the rounds, so you probably have seen them already, but it gives me something to do as i try to form the tortoise experience into words.

so, news item #1 - there's a free panda bear dvd coming out.

mike over at eattapes is generously putting together a dvd of live panda bear performances from his recent person pitch tour. including footage from new york, philadelphia, and baltimore shows. the dvd, entitled people party, has no present release date, but mike is obviously hard at work on it. personally, as a non-fan of animal collective, i would normally be totally uninterested in this, but person pitch is such a good album that i can't wait to get my hands on this dvd. while the dvd is free, and can be mailed anywhere, a $250 filming fee at bowery ballroom has caused mike to create a deluxe package, on a donation sliding scale (between $5 and 10). the deluxe edition contains a bonus disc with all three performances and bonus art, an interview with noah lennox (a.k.a. panda bear), and other fun stuff. rock on, mike!

2. new built to spill tracks (broken by stereogum)

like anyone with half a brain, i like built to spill (read my live review directly below this post). and i liked you in reverse, especially "mess with time." but i think the first new song goes a little too far. "they got away" is a straight-up dub song, albeit with some serious distortion, that doesn't really show promise for what bts does next. "rearrange," on the other hand, is just plain. it is always hard to hear one of your favorite bands move in a direction you don't appreciate, and i hope that if this is what built to spill chooses to sound like for the future, i can appreciate it. but listening to these two singles (especially with you in reverse as a reference point) just makes me yearn for the absurdity of a younger built to spill, that sang about brontosauruses and that would randomly insert a seriously rocking section in a song, for no other reason than it pleased them. "they got away" gets tired before the 3 minute mark, yet stretches past that for nearly another 4. and while "rearrange" does end on a distorted note (along with marimbas), it has that slow, sweeping sound of "else" that has never been as good as their heavier (relatively speaking) songs.

i just checked back at stereogum...apparently, warner music group (that bestial hegemon and built to spill's label) made a boo-boo by allowing stereogum to put the songs up for download. so, fuck warner, here are the songs:

built to spill - "they got away"
built to spill - "rearrange"

3. menomena is playing tonight at south street seaport, courtesy of citysol.

friend and foe continues to be one of my favorite albums of the year, and i'm thrilled at getting a chance to see them. a review of that album is on my perennial to-do list, and i'll crank it out sometime soon, i promise. but trust me - it's fucking awesome. opening is beat the devil, whom i've never heard of. citysol (in part sponsored by brooklyn vegan) continues all weekend, with a bitching show tomorrow that includes o'death, land of talk, and les savy fav. in addition, if you bring your con ed bill and switch to green energy, you get free brooklyn beer. and life does not get better than that.

check out brooklynvegan's schedule here.

menomena - "evil bee" (live at sxsw 2007)
beat the devil - "plea bargain"

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